web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Behind The Mossad Curtain: An Interview with Author Dan Raviv


Dan Raviv

Dan Raviv

Having studied the pattern of Israeli intelligence, I believe the Mossad still places people in enemy countries, even for long periods of time.

I don’t think the CIA placed spies in communist countries in the same way that Israel does in Arab countries. Frankly it is something that Russia did in various countries. In a way, the Mossad perhaps thinks the same way the KGB used to think.

Eli Cohen was born and raised in Egypt and therefore knew Arabic and Arabic culture intimately. Few young Israelis nowadays, however, have that type of background. Would that perhaps impact the Mossad’s ability to place undercover agents in Arab countries?

Eli Cohen was born in Egypt but he posed as a Syrian. So he knew Arabic, but he had to change his accent radically and also undergo a lot of training.

To answer your question, Israeli intelligence people have told us that they have no lack of volunteers. Many Israelis still speak a lot of foreign languages, often from their family connections, plus they receive the training that the Mossad is so good at. I think they have plenty of operatives.

Switching to more recent times: In 2010, the Mossad assassinated Palestinian terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. A month later, Dubai’s police released the photos of 27 Israelis whom it claimed were involved in the operation. At the time, many expressed surprise that Mossad agents would let themselves get caught on camera. What is your take?

We believe there was really no choice – that in a modern city, you have to expect security cameras everywhere. Therefore, the Mossad operatives altered their appearance – at least slightly – so that police could not identify them. The head of the Mossad at the time, Meir Dagan, is not embarrassed about the mission at all. He considers it a success.

I did hear from at least two senior people in Israeli intelligence, however, who thought it was terrible that the agents were photographed. So perhaps not everybody agrees with Dagan.

One would think that being caught on camera is a career-ender for a covert operative.

The phrase usually is that “you are burned.” But it’s our understanding that at least some of those operatives are still active. That’s all I can say.

Were you concerned in writing this book that you were perhaps revealing sensitive information and thus harming Israel?

There was concern, but my co-author, Yossi Melman, really knows how to carefully walk the line between analyzing what Israeli intelligence does and giving away dangerous information. We submitted our material to the Israeli military censor, and the censor did not ask for anything significant to be deleted.

In the book, you discuss the Mossad’s longstanding relationship with the CIA. How did that relationship begin?

In 1956, a Polish Jew in Warsaw got the text of a secret speech by Nikita Khrushchev [exposing the crimes of Joseph Stalin] that all the Western intelligence agencies had been looking for. This Jew’s girlfriend worked for the Polish communist party, and he noticed a copy of the speech that had just been sent from Moscow to the head of the Polish Communist Party.

He asked his girlfriend if he could borrow it for a few hours, and he brought it to the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw. It was subsequently sent to Israeli intelligence chiefs in Tel Aviv and Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion immediately agreed to share it with the United States. The CIA was thrilled, and this really put Israeli intelligence on the world map at a time when Israel was barely eight years old.

It’s amazing that such a strong relationship could have started as the result of a fluke. This Polish Jew, after all, had nothing to do with the world of intelligence and basically stumbled upon this speech.

Good intelligence agencies take advantage of all sorts of flukes and coincidences. Israel has had a lot of good luck. In many cases, the Mossad created those situations, but picking up that speech in Warsaw was just a lucky find – a Jewish man with a well-placed girlfriend.

Who would you say benefits more from the Mossad-CIA relationship, Israel or the United States?

I would say Israel. While Israel seems like a regional superpower, it’s worth remembering that it’s a tiny country with only seven million people. It really needs the alliance with the U.S.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Behind The Mossad Curtain: An Interview with Author Dan Raviv”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
ISIS leads captured Egyptian Copts in death march.
Analysis: ISIS Will Go Down to Defeat in Egypt
Latest Indepth Stories
wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

ISIS leads captured Egyptian Copts in death march.

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Dr. Michael J. Salamon

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

Gerstenfeld-070315

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

On-The-Bookshelf-logo

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

Israel is not the only issue that has drawn Jews closer to conservative Christians in recent decades. The culture wars have played a significant role as well.

What books might people be surprised to find on your bookshelves?

Jews are an anxious group – understandably, given the millennia of persecution – and want to have no trouble.

Why do Jews, then, sometimes feel more intensely about Polish anti-Semitism than they do about German anti-Semitism?

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/behind-the-mossad-curtain-an-interview-with-author-dan-raviv/2012/09/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: